A Living Example Of Homelessness To Hope

KELO St. Francis House General.jpg

A major fundraising project is underway for those seeking to turn their lives around at the St. Francis House. 

The St. Francis House is hoping to raise $5.5 million before building a new facility that will increase bed capacity from 80 to 120. 

“Walked out of prison, $50 gate money, the clothes on my back, had nothing else, and I’m grateful for where I ended up,” Craig Johannsen said. 

That was Johannsen’s life six months ago. 

Now he’s looking forward to re-entering society. 

“Just, they got your back. They want you to get out there into the community, put your applications out, get something done to where you can move forward,” Johannsen said. 

Johannsen served time for drugs, but has his life back on track thanks to the St. Francis House. That’s why he’s hopeful funds will be raised for a newer, bigger facility. 

“So you know, they’re putting a gym in there. People can start working out feeling better about themselves, more case managers, because there’s a lot of people here,” Johannsen said. 

In addition to more bed space, Executive Director Julie Becker says there will be more space for volunteers and church groups to serve the guests. 

“We’re also going to be able to network with other agencies, we already have two or three other agencies that want to come into our facility that want to provide services to our guests,” Becker said. 

As more money pours in, Johannsen hopes he’s a living example of homelessness to hope. 

“I don’t foresee any drug use in my life in the near future, or hopefully forever, like I said, I’m grateful for what they’ve given me,” Johannsen said.

“It’s just a great gift that will be given, hopefully in the near future,” Becker said.

On Thursday, the St. Francis House is expected to make a big announcement on a fundraising milestone for the campaign. 

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